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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

4 Ways to Celebrate Your Recovery

Whether you measure your sobriety in days, weeks, months or years, these milestones are definitely worth celebrating. In fact, taking time to acknowledge your hard work and dedication to lasting recovery is a great way to stay motivated. Here are some fun and sober ideas to help you celebrate your sobriety milestones. 

  1. Get together with loved ones. Spending quality time with those closest to you is the perfect way to celebrate your recovery and thank friends and family who have supported you along the way. It can be simple. Arrange a movie night or potluck dinner or afternoon in the park with snacks and Frisbee.
  2. Participate in recovery events. September happens to be Recovery Month and there are plenty of in-person and online events going on. Visit Recoverymonth.gov to find an event near you. Celebrating your recovery with others in the community can also help to secure your sobriety as you develop a wider network of supporters. 
  3. Volunteer. If you’re uncomfortable with a celebration that focuses solely on you, then why not reward yourself by giving back to others. After all, helping others feels good. Look up volunteer opportunities in your local newspaper – from community gardens to animal care, you’re sure to find a worthy cause that piques your interest.
  4. Reward and enrich yourself. A smart way to celebrate your recovery is to reward yourself by doing something you’ve always wanted to do. Now is your chance, for example, to enroll in that photography class or to visit a new nearby city. Treat yourself – you’ve definitely earned it!
Recovery Activities at Haus Recovery
At Haus Recovery, we’ll help open you up to new experiences and joys as you embrace your new sober life. Sobriety is the beginning of a fun, fulfilling and lifelong adventure. To learn more, call today: 888-555-4715.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Tips for a Successful First Semester

As you approach a new school year, keep in mind the following tips to start off the semester and safeguard your sobriety:
  • Create a plan to handle stress. Back to school can bring with it added academic pressure and stress, which could easily spell relapse if you don’t have a plan in place. Start by identifying some key coping strategies that have worked for you in the past, whether deep breathing, meditation, yoga or a walk outside. Along these lines, you’ll likely need to utilize some of the time management strategies you learned during early recovery.
  • Make a productive workspace. Take time to arrange your desk or work area so you can stay organized and focused. And don’t forget to add something beautiful, calming or inspiring – like flowers, plants or a scented candle.  
  • Prioritize self-care. Be careful not to let college interfere with your self-care, which is critical to long-term sobriety. Beyond the basics – sleeping well, eating right, exercising – be sure to nurture your emotional and spiritual health, too. This could be as simple as making time each week to do something you love. Bonus: Studies show that people who practice self-care are more productive at school and in addiction treatment. 
  • Celebrate your successes. You should be proud of yourself for getting sober and going back to school – this is a big deal and you deserve to pat yourself on the back! 
Colleges Near Santa Monica 
If you’re interested in going back to school, there are numerous community and junior colleges within 25 miles of Santa Monica, including: 
  • Santa Monica College
  • West Los Angeles College
  • Los Angeles City College
  • Los Angeles Valley College
  • El Camino Community College
  • Los Angeles Pierce College
  • Los Angeles Southwest College 
  • Los Angeles Trade Technical College
  • Glendale Community College
  • East Lost Angeles College
  • El Camino College Compton Center
  • Los Angeles Harbor College
  • Los Angeles Mission College
  • Pasadena City College 
  • Cerritos College
  • Long Beach City College
Make the Most of Our Mentors
Don't be afraid to ask for help or to talk to fellow residents about any stumbling blocks as you head back to school. A built-in support system is one of the many advantages of the mentoring program at HAUS. To learn more, call today: 888-551-4715.



Tuesday, August 22, 2017

How to Develop Emotional Intelligence in Recovery

A big part of building a sober life is being able to recognize and regulate your own emotions, while also empathizing with others – and this, in a nutshell, is having emotional intelligence (EQ). 

EQ can help you better manage relationships (leading to a strong support system) and reduce stress and anxiety (both common relapse triggers). What’s more, EQ can help you as you reenter the workplace. 

The good news is that EQ can be developed with practice – and you can start today! 
  • Take time to reflect. Jot down your strengths, weaknesses, triggers, values, goals, etc. Doing this regularly will make you more familiar with you and, in turn, better able to regulate your emotions. 
  • Make a point to be mindful. Learning to observe your thoughts and feelings, without judgment, will decrease the odds of your being unknowingly sideswiped by any negative emotions.
  • Practice not reacting. Part of having a high EQ is learning to respond (not react) to situations. Make an effort to slow down and ask yourself: “Why am I feeling/doing this?” This will help you develop emotional regulation. 
  • Take a walk in someone’s shoes. Emotionally intelligent people are skilled in empathy. Make an effort to walk in the shoes of someone else or to really imagine how you would feel in a given situation. Being empathetic helps you connect more strongly with others and can even teach you more about you. 
  • Celebrate optimism. You likely know the power of positivity and you can add better relationships and greater resilience against negative emotions to the list. Plus, the more you pay attention to positive emotions, the more likely they’ll resurface as a result. Practicing gratitude and journaling are great activities to help you see the bright side of life. 
Sober Living Support
At Haus Recovery, we offer the support needed to maintain abstinence, embrace the fun in a life of recovery and acquire the skills needed to make these changes last. To learn more about our sober living services, call today: 888-551-4715.





Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Study: Loneliness Growing Threat to Public Health

Loneliness and social isolation may be a greater threat to your health than obesity, according to research presented at the 125th annual convention of the American Psychological Association. What’s more, researchers found that people with a greater social connection cut their risk of premature death in half. 

"Being connected to others socially is widely considered a fundamental human need — crucial to both well-being and survival,” said Julianne Holt-Lunstad, PhD, professor of psychology at Brigham Young University, in a statement. "Yet an increasing portion of the U.S. population now experiences isolation regularly." 

According to the most recent U.S. census data, more than a quarter of the population lives alone, more than half is unmarried, and the number of children per household has declined. Heavy use of social media platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram has also been linked to feelings of social isolation.

"These trends suggest that Americans are becoming less socially connected and experiencing more loneliness," said Holt-Lunstad.

How Loneliness Harms Your Recovery
This isn’t the first study to show the dangers of being lonely. In fact, one previous study cited loneliness as being as bad for your health as 15 cigarettes per day. And those of us in the addiction community know the dangers all too well: Loneliness is a common relapse trigger. It may even have contributed to your addiction in the first place. 

Loneliness goes beyond feeling alone; it’s feeling alone, misunderstood, and uncared for even when loved ones are there to support you. The good news: You can do your part to prevent loneliness from harming your health and your sobriety.
  • Go to a 12-step meeting. There’s nothing like meeting others who have been in your shoes to remind you that you’re not alone and that staying sober is worth the work.
  • Vow to volunteer: We promise you’ll get back as much (if not more) than you give. That’s because you’ll get out into the community, meet positive people and make a difference. 
  • Find a hobby. We’ve talked about the many health benefits of hobbies — and you can add combating loneliness to the list. The right hobby can help you make new friends and give you something to be passionate about – something that you want to share and talk about with others. 
  • Make time for friends and family. Carve out time to spend with your loved ones, whether a weekly dinner or morning walk. And remember: This is perhaps most important on those down days where your natural instinct may be to retreat into isolation.  
Consider HAUS Mentoring
Another way to remain connected to the recovery community and combat loneliness is to take advantage of our recovery mentoring services. We’ll ensure that you have a wonderful support team to help you as you transition from treatment to “normal life.” To learn more, call today: 888-551-4715.



Monday, July 31, 2017

Take Control of Your Anger

Learning to express your anger in a healthy way is crucial for your overall health and recovery. This is because flying off the handle is harmful to your body and mind – and it’s also a major relapse trigger. You may even have heard of the acronym H.A.L.T. – Hunger, Anger, Loneliness, and Tired – which are all feelings that could nudge a person toward using again.

Luckily, you can take some practical steps to stay cool when life gets you heated up. Try these tension tamers today: 

Give yourself a timeout. Look at your smartphone and resist reacting until at least two minutes have passed and you’ve taken steps to calm down. You could also just go for a quick walk or leave the room – whatever gives you some space and breathing room to gain control of your emotions. 

Practice relaxation strategies. Here are a few recommendations adapted from The American Psychological Association:
  • Focus on your breath. Breathe deeply, from your diaphragm. Close your eyes and imagine your breath coming up from your "gut" as you inhale. Exhale slowly. 
  • Find a mantra. Think of a calming word or phrase – "calm” or “slow down,” for example – and repeat it to yourself after taking a deep, relaxing breath. 
  • Use imagery. Close your eyes and visualize a time when you felt relaxed. If you can’t recall a past experience, use your imagination and dream up a stress-free place. 
Pinpoint your triggers. In other words, make a conscious effort to figure out what sets you off. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), these events are common anger triggers: 
  • A long wait at the doctor’s office
  • A rumor about your relapse or recovery
  • Traffic or large crowds
  • A joke that poke fun at a sensitive topic
  • Being wrongly accused or mistreated 
Pay attention to your mind and body. Right before your anger escalates, you’ll likely experience a host of physical, behavioral, emotional and cognitive signs, notes SAMHSA. These include:
  • Increased heart rate, tightness in the chest, feeling hot or flushed
  • Clenched fists, raised voice, harsh stare 
  • Fear, hurt, jealousy, disrespect 
  • Hostile, images of aggression and revenge
Post-Treatment Support for Men & Women
At Haus Recovery, we provide our clients with continued support as they transition from a secure recovery environment to sober life filled with daily stressors and tension. To learn more, call today: 888-551-4715.



Monday, July 24, 2017

How Hobbies Can Help

Hobbies make for happy sober lives. Investing just a small amount of time doing something creative and that you’re passionate about – that’s non-work related – can do wonders for your mental health and overall happiness. Let’s take a quick look at some of the health benefits of having a hobby as an adult: 
  • Boosting self-confidence
  • Exercising the brain
  • Expressing creativity
  • Reducing stress
  • Improving social connections
  • Getting out of the house
  • Learning something new
But what if you don’t have a particular passion as an adult? Where do you start? Here are some activities that you may enjoy – and that will also aid in your lasting sobriety.

Gardening: Slows the mind, boosts your mood, and lets you soak up the sunshine. Plus, gardening is a great reminder that you’re just one small part of the greater universe. 

Yoga: One hour of yoga increases GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) by 27 percent. GABA is a brain chemical linked to the reduction of stress and anxiety. 

Visual arts (photography, painting/drawing, writing): The process of creating art doesn’t just make you feel better, but it’s been found to create real, physical changes inside your body. Some of the many perks of visual arts: 
  • Decreased negative emotions and increased positive ones
  • Reduced depression, stress, and anxiety
  • Improved expression, positive identity and social networks
  • Greater awareness of beauty in the world
Running: This is perhaps the best hobby for preventing or managing depression.

Cooking: Teaches you to be more mindful of what you’re putting into your body. The repetitive tasks inherent to cooking (chopping, measure, washing, etc.) can also help you to stay focused on the present. 

Recovery Activities at Haus Recovery
For individuals who have abused their body with drugs and alcohol, healthy recreation is often a distant thought. Yet sobriety is the beginning of a fun, fulfilling, and lifelong adventure. At Haus Recovery, we’ll help open you up to new experiences and joys as you embrace your new sober life. To learn more, call today: 888-555-4715.



Monday, July 17, 2017

Are You Living With Intention?

Chances are you woke up this morning with a mental to-do list – pick up the dry cleaning, go grocery shopping, schedule a work meeting, pay the utility bill – but have you thought about what’s important to you or how you want to feel, think and live? 

One of the many benefits of pursuing a life free of addiction is that you have more time, energy and emotional resources to start living your life with intention. 

What Does Living With Intention Mean?
Living with intention means different things to different people. In general, however, it can mean being an active participant in your life and seizing each day to the fullest. 

By living with intention, you’ll:
  • Break free of the thoughts from our past.
  • Be open to change.
  • Be mindful and kind and present. 
  • Learn what’s important to you. 
  • Be connected to your intuition. 
  • Live by your own values and needs.
  • Be authentic.
Here are a few ways to start using those life skills learned in rehab to live a new sober life with intention: 
  • Uncover your values. Take time to really think about what’s important to you and what values you want to instill in your daily life. Living your life with self-acceptance, health and gratitude, for instance, will make it a lot easier to make smart, sober daily decisions.
  • Consider how you’d like to improve your health. Would you like to eat more vegetables or build more muscle? Or, maybe you need to work on how you handle stress? Especially for those in recovery, taking care of your physical and emotional self is an essential part of living life with intention.
  • Visualize your life in 5, 10 and 20 years. Take a few minutes to think about how you want to live or what type of person you’d like to become. Write it down so you can add to it or adjust it as your goals develop and change. 
  • Take a small step forward. What can you do today to prepare yourself for the person you want to be a year from now? What’s one action that will move you closer to your career of family goals? Consider working with an addiction recovery specialist to map out these steps. 
A Healthier Lifestyle With Deeper Purpose
At Haus Recovery, we help our clients stay focused and confident as they master their full recovery potential. To learn more about our services and activities, call us today: 888-551-4715.